Week 3 of the NASCAR iRacing.com Super Late Model series traveled to the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains to tackle one of the fastest short tracks of this or any season. Bristol Motor Speedway was the site and once the sun went down the action lit up the track known as Thunder Valley. In the 1764 SoF feature race of the week 17 cars took the green flag but only a dozen would finish and just a handful would go the full race distance.
The race saw just one lead change after the front row was taken out in an incident when they couldn’t get slowed in time. Jeff Marianetti went on to lead 84 of the 90 laps with Bryan Syer-Keske leading the other six laps before an accident ended his reign. A late race caution set up a green-white- checker finish where Marianetti was challenged heavily by Kalen Fagan. Although Marianetti got a great restart and pulled Fagan by a full car length, he drifted high off Turn Two, opening the door for Fagan to get on his inside down the backstretch. They raced side-by-side to the line with Marianetti getting the edge on Fagan by a mere 0.037 seconds.
The complexion of the race was heavily altered by the three cautions for 15 laps, with the first and final cautions setting the tone for the race. The first caution waved as the leaders crossed the start/finish line for Lap Six. Andrew Waldrop and Chris Hales get together triggering a massive melee collecting five other sim-racers. Bradley Smith2 checked-up in what looked to be a race-saving reaction only for Kyle Boudreau to plow into him. At (nearly) the same time, Jeff Larson caught Boudreau in the right rear and narrowly avoided the spinning car of Smith2. As the virtual smoke settled, Boudreau tried turning his car around only to collect the lead car of Syer-Keske who, in turn, shot Boudreau’s car down into second place Phillip Smalley putting both P1 and P2 behind the wall.
The final caution waved on Lap 85 when Waldrop hit the Turn Two wall and shot down the track into the luckless Smith2, who spun and slammed into Turn Three wall, setting up the green-white-checkered finish.
The final podium spot was settled on the final restart as Jonathan Pittman2, Michael Sensey and David Chmura battled hard through the final set of corners. Sensey gave Pittman2 a little “bumper love” going into Turn Three upsetting Pittman2’s car. Pittman2 gathered it up — with a little help from the outside wall – as Sensey got past for P3. Chmura tried to sneak by as well but, instead did a proper job of getting into Pittman2, causing both cars to wreck going across the line with Pittman2 fourth and Chmura an eventful fifth.
The NASCAR iRacing.com Super Late Model Series Week Four action heads to Lanier National Speedway in Braselton, Georgia. This .375 mile moderately banked oval will produce plenty of action as passing can be difficult. Many sim-racers may try the bump-and-run or actually attempt an outside pass while pinching-off the exit of their rival on the bottom groove. Either style will likely be seen in abundance, so polish-up them chrome horns and be prepared for some good Saturday night short track-style action.